Heinz Endowments Looks To Smart Urban Planning For Pittsburgh Moment

The Heinz Endowments is redirecting resources toward smart urban planning to seize upon an “amazing moment” in Pittsburgh’s development, foundation president Grant Oliphant said Thursday.

A citywide building boom, an infusion of young professionals and heightened partnerships between foundation and civic officials are among factors jump-starting conversations about long-term planning strategies.

“Suddenly, in 2015, Pittsburgh is a place to be,” Oliphant said. “There is an energy in Pittsburgh around development that makes possible things that were really not possible to push forward 10 years ago.”

Oliphant’s remarks emerge 18 months after a major personnel shakeup at The Heinz Endowments, Western Pennsylvania’s second largest foundation with more than $1.5 billion in net assets. A string of executive departures in 2013 left the foundation without an executive director for eight months, amid an apparent clash between the Heinz family and departing staffers over the foundation’s ties to an industry-backed environmental group.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/8178606-74/heinz-foundation-oliphant#ixzz3Xapyylia
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Pittsburgh Foundation Bequeathed $20 Million

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The estates of identical twin sisters Jean and Nancy Davis — lifelong Pittsburghers who died within four months of each other at the age of 97 — and a former H.J. Heinz Co. executive and his wife have made two of the largest individual gifts ever received by The Pittsburgh Foundation.

The donations, announced by the foundation this week, include roughly $9 million from the Davises and $11.7 million from the late Junius Allen and his wife, Zella, who died last year at 103.  The bulk of the money is designated for the unrestricted use of the foundation, a nonprofit community foundation launched in 1945 with assets of more than $800 million.  The foundation awards grants to charitable groups in Pittsburgh and throughout the U.S.

The Pittsburgh Foundation’s largest individual donation, $50 million, came in 2010 from the late Pittsburgh chemical engineer Charles Kaufman.

“When we look behind these bequests, we see touching stories of deep affection for Pittsburgh and its people,” foundation CEO Grant Oliphant said.  “This is a great example of something that happens more frequently than we realize in Pittsburgh, where people who are born here leave an extraordinary gift to Pittsburgh.”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/pittsburgh-foundation-bequeathed-20-million-653322/#ixzz26SPodp3F